The weekend meltdown of British Airways' computer system left thousands of travellers stranded and saw hundreds of flights cancelled – including flight BA15 from London to Sydney via Singapore – with knock-on effects to the rest of BA's worldwide schedule.
Passengers can make claims for compensation by British Airways under the EU ' Flight Compensation Regulation' 261/2004, for sums ranging from €250 (A$375) through to €600 (A$900) per passenger.
This is a cash payment which airlines must pay by EU law for cancelled or heavily delayed flights.
EU Regulation 261/2004 covers all flights departing from the EU – which includes the UK, obviously – as well as flights arriving in an EU country and carried out by a European airline – which includes flights from Australia to the UK on British Airways.
What are the rules if my BA flight was delayed or cancelled?
If your flight was delayed for two hours or more you're entitled to 'care and compensation' under EU 261/2004.
The airline is obliged to provide food and drink appropriate to the time of day – usually in the form of a voucher to redeem at the airport – and in the case of overnight delays, the airline must provide hotel accommodation and transport to reach it.
If that can't be done due to the scale of the disruption, as was the case with BA this weekend, you can make your own arrangements and claim the cost back (just don't go booking yourself into a luxury suite at some six-star hotel unless that's the only room available).
This naturally also extends to cancelled flights.
This weekend's system outage saw British Airways advising customers to find hotels on their own with a promise of reimbursement by the airline, at £200 per night for accommodation, £50 round trip between the airport and the hotel, and £25 for 'refreshments'.
What sort of compensation can I expect?
Given that BA is responsible for the computer glitch, the airline is also required to pony up a cash payment of €250 for short flights under 1,500km and €400 for flights of 1,500 to 3,500km.
For flights over 3,500km, a delay of 3 to 4 hours will result in a €300 payment, with €600 for more than four hours.
What about travel insurance?
Your travel insurance policy should also offer compensation for delays, but the amount on offer and number of hours defined as a 'delay' will vary from one insurer to the next.